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$200 Million in Revenue Catering to the Bottom of the Pyramid: Issa Asad, CEO of Q Link Wireless (Part 4)

Posted on Thursday, Feb 1st 2018

Sramana Mitra: In 2007, you started this affiliate network. How long did it take you to arrive at that inflection point where you figured out that Beauty was the category that you wanted to focus on?

Issa Asad: It took almost two years.

Sramana Mitra: That’s not unusual though. It takes time to experiment.

Issa Asad: What took time was being able to figure out what product to sell. It took time to figure out how to make it work at a good cost. These companies wouldn’t pay too much for cost of acquisition. I figured out the category, then I figured out how to make it cost-effective. That became a very difficult task.

I had to figure out how to make leads cheaper and how to perform marketing techniques that made it cheaper. I started working with Google and different AdWords companies. I figured out how to make a $50 lead to cost only $20. It wasn’t just about the product. I had to make it cost effective.

Sramana Mitra: Once you figured that out, what were some of the strategies and techniques that you followed to make that business scale?

Issa Asad: When I was working on products and selling marketing, I figured that consumer selection was a bad idea. The more choices I gave a consumer, the more I felt that consumer would convert to a sale. It ended up being the opposite. When you give the consumer too many choices, their focus wasn’t on what you wanted it to be. They would not make a choice at all. I would not get a sale.

Then I figured out that if I make the sales happen through a funnel where I marketed one product and through the checkout process, add additional upsell, I figured out that was more effective than 20 or 30 products on a website. I would market a diet product with a detox product, or a detox product with a cream. I figured out, over time, that it made more sense to upsell rather than offer a whole array of products.

It was very hard to capture their attention. I have 15 seconds to capture their attention, 30 additional seconds to get them to be interactive, and 90 seconds to see if they wanted to buy.

Sramana Mitra: What happens next?

Issa Asad: It was doing well. Some lady next to me was sitting there complaining about a phone that she received from the government that didn’t work. She told me her story of how she has Medicaid and how the government gives her a free phone for having Medicaid. That was very intriguing. I started doing research on it. I found two people who were doing this business. They were only doing it through brick-and-mortar.

I said, “How do I make that business work online?” I went out and started generating leads just to see if works. In the first couple of months, I was able to generate enough leads where the numbers were making sense. I started reselling for other companies. Then I said, “Instead of reselling, let me try to do it myself.” I went out to companies like AT&T, Mobil, and Sprint. I took a business that wasn’t doing anything to a business that’s now doing over $200 million a year.

This segment is part 4 in the series : $200 Million in Revenue Catering to the Bottom of the Pyramid: Issa Asad, CEO of Q Link Wireless
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